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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 08-18-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
Chris Mason
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Overreaching and CrossFit

This is just a stream of consciousness post...

I am thinking about overreaching and CrossFit and how the concept of delayed transformation can be applied to CF training.

Delayed transformation is allowing supercompensation to occur after a period of overreaching in one's training. Overreaching is essentially overtraining that normally is done purposefully.

So, let's take conventional CF WODs as an example. Let's say you double your WOD volume for a period of 3-4 weeks. The first couple of weeks you will likely see some improvement, perhaps even significant improvement. Going into the 3rd week progression will likely stagnate and by the 4th week it will almost certainly have stagnated and your body will be feeling beat up and worn down.

Now, if a 7-10 day rest period of either total rest, or easy active recovery (EASY being the key word CFers!) then follows when training is resumed the athlete will normally experience a significant improvement in performance. The theory being something along the lines of the body working extra hard to promote supercompensation to protect itself from future bouts of similar training stimulus excess.

Now, this is not something that can be done over and over. After the first bout a significant period of time should elapse prior to trying again. I would recommend at least a couple of months.

Thinking done...
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
Evan Peikon
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

I think i remember reading an article by louie simmons about this awhile back but can't find it now.
After the break from training would the body adapt to that higher workout and use that as a new baseline or would you go back to your normal training?

also as a side note i feel like this would be a good time to use maybe 1-2 a year if you know your going away for a week or so for say christmas or summer break. that way you can go intentionally ''overtrain'' and have a week where you couldn't train even if you wanted and you'd have no other work/life stress.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:46 PM   #3
Chris Mason
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

Good point on the planning Evan.

No, the training volume that creates the overreach phenomenon will not become the new norm. Recovery ability does not adapt at the same rate as soft tissue and the CNS.

Sure, Westside uses it for their Circa Max training just before a meet with the idea being to peak for the meet.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
Evan Peikon
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

in regards to westside would that be similar to the strength-speed dynamic cycle that last 2 weeks that louie says not to use often. i think it was with heavier percents.

and also what would the adaptation period be like for increasing volume. I started doing the ''Move fast lift heavy'' program written by kane from crossfit fairbanks a few weeks ago which is westside + some conditioning work and the volume is higher than I've done before. But, I'm recovering 100% from it and have also added extra workouts (band work, sled work) and since doing so I've noticed i actually recover better/ don't get sore.
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Old 08-18-2012, 03:50 PM   #5
Evan Peikon
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

Just found the westside article if anyones interested:

http://www.westside-barbell.com/west...sformation.pdf (WFS)
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:59 PM   #6
Chris Mason
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Peikon View Post
in regards to westside would that be similar to the strength-speed dynamic cycle that last 2 weeks that louie says not to use often. i think it was with heavier percents.

and also what would the adaptation period be like for increasing volume. I started doing the ''Move fast lift heavy'' program written by kane from crossfit fairbanks a few weeks ago which is westside + some conditioning work and the volume is higher than I've done before. But, I'm recovering 100% from it and have also added extra workouts (band work, sled work) and since doing so I've noticed i actually recover better/ don't get sore.
For the Westside question, sort of, yes.

When you ask what would the adaptation period be, what exactly are you asking? I want to make sure I understand your question.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:25 AM   #7
Evan Peikon
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
For the Westside question, sort of, yes.

When you ask what would the adaptation period be, what exactly are you asking? I want to make sure I understand your question.
what i was trying to ask is how long it would take to establish a new baseline for volume/intensity.

Example: for a week or two i was sore and a little beat up every day from upping my volume but after that I started feeling 100% recovered again. Then i added some more extra stuff (sleds and band work) to my program after feeling like i had a new baseline and since then I've been adapting to the increased workload without feeling any more stressed physically.

Im wondering if i actually establish a new baseline in this instance or if i just started training to the potential that i could have already handled but just hadn't been.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:37 AM   #8
Todd R Miller
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

Chris - would you suggest ramping up the volume over the course of 3-4 weeks? Or, just increase the volume and maintain it over 3-4 weeks?

Also, during the recovery period should you maintain some intensity but at greatly reduced volume? Or, should you reduce intensity as well a volume?
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:51 AM   #9
John C Corona
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Peikon View Post
what i was trying to ask is how long it would take to establish a new baseline for volume/intensity.
Im just thinking out loud, but would the answer be "it depends on the athlete (age, sex, diet, beginner or advanced athlete, genes, etc.)"? I still want to know if there is a number on how the speed of recovery adapts vs. the soft tissue or CNS?

And Todd beat me to the question of "is it better to ramp up slowly, which is what we tell beginners (start 1on1off, then 2-1, then 3-1, etc..).

New terms for me: super compensation, delayed transformation, overreaching. Thnx.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #10
Robert Walsh
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Re: Overreaching and CrossFit

I like doing this from time to time. I use 531 as the basic strength template and add volume through accessory work and conditioning work. Do a couple two-a-days, extra skill work, extra bodyweight stuff. If you've been training long enough you start to feel it when you need to back off. Sleep starts to get worse, appetite goes a little, and joint stiffness gets worse. Take a few active recovery days, eat well, and soon things are back to normal. For me, it's not until a week or two later that I start to feel and see the benefits of this in my training.
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